Making soup … with a lot of help from our friends

I like to say that it takes a village to make a difference. It really takes a “prosocial” village, which reflects a framework in social psychology that has relevant application in business. This term reflects the act of helping, sharing, donating, cooperating or volunteering that contributes to the greater good and well being of others.

Goodwill Columbus is fortunate to have many partners in human services, government, education and business, who live by this model and work together to fulfill a collective mission of helping individuals with disabilities and other barriers on a pathway toward securing meaningful and sustainable work.

Studies have shown companies that embrace a prosocial culture report a happier and more satisfied workforce. That could be something as simple as providing paid time to volunteer at a local nonprofit, a match for financial giving to employees’ charities of choice or a corporate commitment to a caring cause.

Based upon the generosity of many Central Ohio companies, businesses in our community have a keen awareness of this practice.

Leverage our collective impact

There’s a new prosocial partnership that’s been launched, celebrating the community’s collective impact.

Through the capable leadership of Ohio Means Jobs/Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, our community’s one-stop Jobs Center is transitioning to a compelling partnership of three nonprofit agencies — Goodwill Columbus, Jewish Family Services and The Columbus Urban League — that provide a broad range of career services and support; along with ResCare, which will manage the operations of this center.

Our vision of collective impact going forward is focused on providing a seamless, integrated workforce development network to meet the diverse employment needs of businesses and job seekers. This newly created partnership will support economic development in Central Ohio, leveraging our expertise to meet our ever-expanding economic growth.

Better together

Prosocial partnerships like these remind me of the fable “Stone Soup,” where villagers start with a cooking pot containing just water and a stone. Each villager then adds a little something tasty and edible to the mix so that the whole village dines on a delicious communal meal. That is truly “The Columbus Way.”

We have a rich tapestry of human services organizations, corporate and private donors, invested and engaged government officials, educational institutions, passionate staff and generous volunteers, who together create an elegant fabric of support for individuals looking for guidance and a path to self-sufficiency.

Central Ohio will achieve its highest state when we work together to assure that every individual in our community has an opportunity to thrive. It really does take a village.


Margie Pizzuti is the president and CEO of Goodwill Columbus. With a threefold mission of People, Planet and Prosperity, Goodwill is dedicated to helping people with disabilities and other barriers to employment find pathways to independence through the power of work.